Russian MoD Confirms Destruction of First Ukrainian Abrams Tank in Avdiivka

Avdiivka's M1A1 SA Abrams tanks feature upgraded laser rangefinder, thermal imaging, stabilized sight, remote weapon system, and IFF.
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  • 01:24 PM, February 27, 2024
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Russian MoD Confirms Destruction of First Ukrainian Abrams Tank in Avdiivka
M1A1 SA Abrams tank in Avdiivka, Donetsk Oblast @via Ukrainian media

The Russian Ministry of Defense officially confirmed today the destruction of the first American-made Abrams main battle tank (MBT) in Avdiivka.

On Monday, Russian forces claimed to have successfully destroyed the first U.S.-supplied M1 Abrams outside the besieged city.

Russian propagandists swiftly shared videos of the tank's destruction on social media. It was attacked by units from the 15th Motorized Rifle Brigade in Samara, using a "loitering munition."

The Ukrainian Armed Forces also lost another tank, three infantry fighting vehicles (including the American Bradley), six armored combat vehicles, 13 vehicles, and two D-30 towed howitzers in a single day. The human toll on the Ukrainian side in the Avdiivka area reached 485 casualties, the ministry said.

The Russian group “Center” liberated Severnoe and established more strategically advantageous positions within the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR). The Russian Armed Forces thwarted nine Ukrainian counterattacks in the Novgorod, Pervomaisky, and Petrovsky areas.

Russian air defense forces destroyed a Ukrainian Su-25 attack aircraft in the Mikhailovka area of the Nikolaev region. Additionally, 69 Ukrainian drones were shot down in a single day, showcasing the effectiveness of Russian anti-air capabilities.

Abrams in Ukraine

The Abrams tanks involved in the conflict were part of a U.S. military aid package to Ukraine. The journey of these tanks began in May 2023 when 200 Ukrainian troops underwent training on M1 Abrams tanks at a U.S. military base in Germany. By early August, the United States officially approved the transfer of the initial batch of Abrams tanks to Ukraine.

Funds from the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) were initially allocated for new equipment, but the decision was made to refurbish tanks from U.S. Army reserves. The military aid package included depleted uranium tank armor-piercing projectiles.

President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, acknowledged the arrival of the initial batch of 31 Abrams tanks on September 25, 2023, with all promised tanks reportedly transferred by October 2023.

Recent reports suggest that these Abrams tanks are equipped with advanced features, including Abrams Reactive Armor (ARAT-1) kits, a component of the Tank Urban Survival Kit (TUSK), providing protection against various threats. The M1A1 SA variant boasts upgraded capabilities, such as an enhanced laser rangefinder, thermal imaging camera, stabilized sight, and a remotely controlled weapon system for precise firing while in motion. The inclusion of the Blue Force Tracking system facilitates 'friend or foe' identification, enhancing the overall effectiveness of these tanks on the frontline near Avdiivka, a city witnessing intense battles.

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